Mike Ridley, owner of 'Pooh Corner' in Hartfield, wrote a very nice booklet about this game, including these rules below. This booklet 'The official Pooh Corner Rules for Playing Poohsticks' was written in 1996 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the publication of 'Winnie-the-Pooh'.
- First, you each select a stick and show it to your fellow competitors. You must agree which stick is which - or whose, as it were.
- Check which way the stream is flowing. Competitors need to face the stream on the side where it runs in, under the bridge (upstream). Note: If the stream runs out, from under the bridge you are standing on the wrong side! (downstream).
- Choose someone to be a Starter. This can be either the oldest or the youngest competitor.
- All the competitors stand side by side facing upstream.
- Each competitor holds their stick at arms length over the stream. The tall competitors should lower their arms to bring all the sticks to the same height over the stream as the shortest competitor's stick.
- The starter calls, 'Ready - Steady - Go!" and all the competitors drop their sticks. Note: the stick must not be thrown into the water.
- At this point in the game all the players must cross to the downstream side of the bridge. Please take care - young players like to race across. Remember, other people use bridges and some of them have vehicles or horses.
- Look over the edge of the bridge for the sticks to emerge. The owner of the first Stick to float from under the bridge, is the winner.
Remember: Falling into the water is SAD (Silly And Daft)!